Posts Tagged 'Childhood'

To Infinity, and Beyond!

“When it all ends I’ll have old Buzz Lightyear to keep me company – For infinity and beyond.” ~ Tom Hanks as Woody in Toy Story 2.

Last night, I went with old friends to see Toy Story 3 at the drive-in.  I had such high expectations for the film: it scored incredibly high on Rotten Tomatoes and even some friends of mine who are extremely judgmental about movies came back from seeing it absolutely blown away.  Second sequel nothing, I was determined that the film was going to knock me right off my feet.

Guess what?  It did.  The Washington Post states Pixar as “a studio that can do no wrong” and I’m inclined to agree… at least mostly.  The only Pixar film that I wasn’t fond of was A Bug’s Life, and there was nothing wrong with it- I just didn’t like it.

There may be some minor spoilers to follow, so read at your own risk.  I’ll be careful not to ruin any bog plot twists for those who haven’t seen the movie, and are planning to.

It’s so amazing that fifteen years after the launch of Toy Story, Disney and Pixar have wrangled the entire original cast back together for not the first sequel, but the second.  The only notable exception to this is Jim Varney, who died barely a year after the release of Toy Story 2.  For those of you not familiar with actors’ names, Jim Varney voiced Slinky Dog.  Delightfully, in the third movie, Slink’s voice was wonderfully replicated by Blake Clark.  In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was the same person.

There is so much that I can say about this movie; so many praises I can give it, but I’m going to limit it to some of my favorite aspects.  It’s really hard for me to write about this objectively, because I am very much still a child at heart and I love Disney movies- especially Disney Pixar.

  • There was the potential in the Barbie/Ken relationship to go cheesy and predictable… but it didn’t.  At first, there are all the typical, wonderful cheesy moments that make us giggle and roll our eyes, but there’s depth there that I didn’t expect, at the least, and it was so exciting to see it.
  • The last five minutes of the movie are absolutely heart-wrenching for anyone with a soul, who ever had toys, and who ever has been a kid, or has kids of their own.
  • We meet a new character:  Bonnie.  She’s very sweet, and more than anything, reminds me of myself when I was young.  There’s a brief scene when she’s cuddled in bed with all of her toys, so many that there’s barely room for her.  That was definitely me as a child.
  • The commercials do not even begin to explain the movie.  Believe me, Sunnyside is not-so-sunny.  I love Pixar commercials because they never do the movies justice.  I’m always so much more delighted after seeing the film.
  • I really loved this one part in the movie, and if I say what part, it will be a huge spoiler, but it includes a lack of redemption and garbage and I totally thought it was going to be all over.  It is so, so hard not to spoil this, but it’s the biggest twist in the film.  Let’s just say, the biggest twist was brilliant.
  • It was a perfect ending.  Very much a passing-of-the-torch ending from Andy to Bonnie, but I don’t think we can expect a Toy Story 4.  It’s sad in a way, knowing that these old friends (animated or not) who have been with us most our lives are going to be leaving us forever… except remaining in memory.  I was five-years-old (maybe six) when the first Toy Story came out, and I remember seeing it in theatres.
  • Pixar movies are for more than entertainment.  They tell a story, teach a lesson.  The Toy Story movies have always been about loyalty and friendship.  You get to see a new level in Toy Story 3 between Andy and his mother, and it’s touching.

Spanish Buzz.

I can go into silly amounts of detail, like saying specific lines and such things, but what really made the movie come together was… everything.  The development of the characters, both new and old.  Toy Story 3 wasn’t a happy-go-lucky movie.  It wasn’t a sad movie either.  All in all, it was sweet, touching, and made me feel like a jerk for having all my old stuffed animals in storage in the basement.  I may just go home and dig out my Jessie doll.

Pixar has done it again.

Also:  For a little bit of fun, check out this page to see the Easter Eggs and shout outs thrown in the movie.  They’re a lot of fun!

“Nobody Here But Us Trees.”

Middle School lunch with Jon and Andy

“Always the innocent are the first victims…. So it has been for ages past, so it is now.” ~ J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could hide away from the world, and have it dismiss you?  Have it say, “oh, that’s okay, I guess you’re really not here.”  The title of the blog entry comes from the movie Bunny Picnic.  Another Jim Henson masterpiece, I grew up on that movie.  It was mine and my brother’s Easter movie (though we were firmly reminded that Easter had nothing to do with bunnies, that was the Roman’s bright idea).  Bunny picnic is about a colony of rabbits preparing for the biggest holiday of their year.  You follow the character Bean, a ragamuffin brown rabbit who is always breaking things.  Purposefully, the other rabbits keep sending him somewhere else- they don’t want his help, he’ll break something!  Eventually what ends up happening, is a dog ends up at the Bunny Picnic!  Everyone is terrified of the dog, and they’re all hiding, and he’s going to not only ruin their holiday, but eat them all!  Om, nom, nom!  They need to make the dog go away, so a lot of the rabbits hide in the trees, and when the dog asks if there are rabbits there, Bean and the other tree-ridden rabbits respond “Nobody here but us trees.” and the silly dog believes them.  Wouldn’t it be nice if life was just that simple?

Only the sad fact is, life isn’t that simple.  Everybody wants something of us.  One of my managers usually spends Sunday running around complaining that everyone she talks to wants something from her.  I can’t really argue with her- it’s absolutely true.  We really don’t have our own lives.  It’s funny, the idea of independence is incredibly ironic, because in order to become independent from our families and go out into the world on our own, we have to heap on a bunch of responsibility.  Suddenly we have rent to pay, car payments, insurance payments, groceries, utilities, things like that.  Those are financial commitments, and by the time that we’re done paying off things, we have measly pennies left to ourselves.  And what of time commitments?  Working forty hours a week, if you’re lucky.  If you’re like most people, you have a second job because the first doesn’t pay enough or the hours are inconsistent.  Usually you work between forty and sixty hours a week between the two jobs, just trying to make ends meet.  When you get home, you’re too exhausted for anything.  Or, if you’re like me, you try to pursue your passions in the little free time you have.  Maybe you’re part of community theatre.  Maybe you volunteer somewhere.  One way or the other, your calendar is full.  It’s to the point where spending time with friends is just another time commitment, and there’s no end in sight.  Whatever happened to recess?  Summer vacation?

Childhood is where it’s at.  It was an age of innocence and joy.  Mum and dad fed you and clothed you, and the worst thing you had to worry about was bullies.  Your world was the playground.  When you were on those swings, you pumped as hard as you could until you reached the top and you felt your swing bounce just a little and you knew if you went much higher, you’d flip over and get hurt.  But it was the rush of the wind that made it all worthwhile.  You go through your school work because there was the promise of recess, of weekend, of summer vacation on the other side.  That made it worthwhile.  Elementary and middle school were dream worlds.  Oh yes, I said middle school.

Middle school is what you make of it.  It could be the awkward pimply hormonal stage of life, or it can be magnificent.  You wouldn’t have to pay me to go back and relive my middle school years.  I loved them.

Sixth grade I ended up with what I anticipated was going to be the worst teacher ever, and ended up to be one of my favourite teachers ever.  I ended up with none of my friends in that class, but I was at an age when I had no issues making new friends, and I ended up with Caitlyn, who to this day (goose, ten years later) is still very dear to me.  From her, I gained Jon and Andy.  And others.  In sixth grade, we were the most popular people in school.  I can’t even begin to describe all the memories.  Shutting Jon’s finger in the window (oops, teehee), listening to Andy sing the Beach Boys all the time (he’ll deny that now), signing things to Caitlyn in class one letter at a time (to this day, I still don’t know anything more than letters in Sign Language).  That’s just the tip of the ice berg.  I could honestly keep going forever, and just about sixth grade.

Seventh grade was just as good.  Some crazy person put all of us in the same homeroom (thanks Ms. Cass and Mrs. Gitchell!!!!) and I couldn’t’ve been happier.  There were always the lonely moments (I still have a grudge against my parents for letting me go to neither Nature’s Classroom nor Sergeant Camp, but I understand now that we really just couldn’t afford it).  But there was also yard-stick battles before school started, and Groovy!  The Musical, and all the little moments.  Superrally was fun, even with our vagabond group of friends.  In seventh grade I went to see the Attack of the Clones primere at 2am, and went to school for testing the next day (I’m stubborn).  I remember walking into the classroom and Jon looking up from his test and mouthing “how was it?”.  Teehee.  And of course the marriage project.  Oh, that may have been eighth grade.  Either way, it was funny.

In eighth grade someone remedied our sixth grade teachers’ kindness and put the four of us in different homerooms.  There was orienteering, which is probably the highlight of eighth grade for me.  The looming prospect of high school.  High school changes the innocent things.  I’d still rather redo high school than be in college, but nonetheless… it made everything separate.  Everyone put up walls.  We didn’t like each other- we tolerated each other.  It could have been the beginning of the end.  If we let it.  I think that I let it.

One of the rules of high school is that you start over.  It’s a bad rule.  It should be changed.  Friends in high school are sewn together by deceit and desperation.  In middle school and high school, it’s because of commonalities and genuine interest.  After you graduate high school, you laugh and reminisce about your middle school friends, but you kindly avoid and secretly dislike your high school friends.  At least, that was the case with me.  Of the few friends I made in high school, I tolerate them.  I don’t dislike all of them, but they all feel awkward.  Like a shirt that’s just a little bit too tight.  I’m much more inclined to want to reconnect with my middle school friends.

Then again, I’ve always been one to hold on to the past.  I like my concept of innocence.  I like freedom of mind and heart.  If I could get it back, I would, but the funny thing about innocence is that it’s exclusive to children.  I can be silly all I want, watch Disney movies, hang out with people younger than me.  Those things are fun and I enjoy doing them, but they won’t give me innocence back.

Fluff-a-nutter

Buds on the bush outside my house.

“Happy is what happens when all your dreams come true.” ~ Galinda in the musical Wicked.

This morning is lovely.  The sun is out bright, it’s my official last day of classes, and I found a dollar on the floor this morning.  Granted, I broke my watch getting to said-dollar, but I have the warranty, so JC Penney will give me a new band, I think.  I’m going to go there on Saturday and get it dealt with.  It didn’t upset me, though.  It was one of those “psh, well that figures” things.  I have just enough money left in my student account to get a Fluff-a-nutter for lunch, too, and that makes me ecstatic.

For those unfamiliar with the wonderful world of the Fluff-a-nutter, I feel the need to explain it’s magnificence.  You see, every young American child who isn’t allergic to peanutbutter should have the opportunity to delve into the wonderful world of the Fluff-a-nutter.  Actually, I’m of the opinion that every child everywhere should have the opportunity, but if you’re from the United States and you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients, you really have no excuse.  Okay.  You take white bread, generally.  Thick white bread, if you have it, I think that’s the best.  You spread a good layer of marshmallow fluff on one slice and peanutbutter (chunky, if possible!) on the other.  Smoosh the two pieces together, stick it in a toaster oven for about three minutes, and alakazambalooza!  You’ve got a Fluff-a-nutter.  But there is more to a Fluff-a-nutter than the amazing unhealthiness of it.

Like Kraft Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Gushers, Fluff-a-nutters are one of the staple foods of childhood.  Every time I have marshmallow fluff (it doesn’t have much use outside Fluff-a-nutters and hot chocolate) I’m brought back to my childhood and days of simplicity.  Every bite is a trip back to sitting in the woods behind my house with a Tamora Pierce novel in hand, listening to the rustle of the leaves and feeling the cold stone wall beneath my Indian-crossed legs.  Chasing butterflies, playing with Eddie on the front steps, dipping my feet in the stream.  My old house was a nature wonderland for a child, and I think I’d appreciate it more now than I did then.  Yeah- I’d still sit on boulders and stone walls and read outside instead of being active, but that’s just the way I rock and roll.

I’m going to start doing this thing with different daily subjects (see below).  Probably won’t do all of them every day, but today I’m going to.  Just to see what I can do.  And if I update more than once a day, I probably won’t do most, if any of them the second time, but we’ll see.  This is an experiment.  The pictures aren’t mine.  I photoshopped them, but they’re all Google’d.  I love how Google is a verb.  But yes, the below part today is going to be helluva lot longer than any time in the future.  Tags are also not going to apply to the part below.  Part below also makes me wish there were cuts, like there are on LiveJournal.  Oh well.  Can’t have everything.

Don’t love how a bunch of fem-jocks took over my sitting area.  May need to vacate for sanity’s sake.  I’m a terrible person.

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News Today
In The News Today: I just read an article on MSNBC that complained that the United States isn’t doing enough to enforce religious freedom all over the world.  My question?  Why do Americans think that the religious practices and beliefs of the rest of the world are any of our business?  Isn’t bad enough that we’re enforcing our government-type all over the world without telling people that their religion is wrong as well?  The article says that the United States passed an act in 1998 that stated we’d do more to improve the religious state of the world to be more open-minded.  Psh.  Doesn’t anybody read history?  Number One:  the Puritans (and others) didn’t come to the United States to give religious freedom to anyone but themselves.  I mean in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, back in the day, John Winthrop told people that they had to become Puritan or die.  Massachusetts was to be a “city on a hill”, a place of glorious, rigorous religion.  When the law to separate church and state came about, it was to protect the church against the state, not vice versa.  And here we go again, overriding all our laws.  Elitist much?

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Weather ReportWeather Channel: Looks like today’s going to be sunny, but cold!  Not a lot of wind, though, which is a nice change.  Had to pull my winter jacket out of its stow-away closet again this morning.  Can’t wait until the day I can leave it there for good!  None of yesterday’s snow stuck, by the way… thank goodness!  I might have cried!  The weather report for this weekend is supposed to be gorgeous:  between 70 and 80 degrees tomorrow and Saturday.  Too bad I’m working….  But it’ll be good for the dinner party, I think.  Nice weather puts people in better moods- including me!

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Health ReportHealth Report: That Fluff-a-nutter I’m anticipating today is going to be crazy unhealthy.  It’s the fluff, mostly.  I have this thing for sugar, and yes, I understand, sugar is really bad for me.  But it tastes so good.  Also, I’m been working through the Lindor Truffles I got at the mall a couple weeks ago, and I’m concerned.  I’m 50% certain that I have a cavity.  Maybe two.  Definitely don’t want to go to the dentist, and also can’t afford to go to the dentist.  I’m thinking procrastinate.  Also unhealthy.  Today is going to be an inside day- maybe I’ll vacuum just so there’s some small semblance of exercise.

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Words Worth Getting AtWords Worth Getting At: I haven’t written a thing today.  In fact, most of my writing has just been this blog, which I don’t consider proper writing.  I’ll probably push out a flash fiction of two during my Age of Enlightenment class this afternoon, depending on if he keeps us the whole time.  I also pulled out my half-edited chapter four of Fate last night and put it on my desk.  It’s on my to-do list.  Going to try to keep away from Green-Eyed for now.  I still don’t like my titles, by the by.  I’m burnt out on writing from my Fiction Workshop class this semester, but I plan to finish editing this summer, work willing.

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Financi-SmashFinanci-smash: So I check my bank account and I definitely only have $30 in it.  Granted, I have more money in my savings account, but I’m really, really not supposed to dip into that.  Just got $19 for trading in books (blergh, of course) which brings the cash in my wallet up to $23, which with any luck will cover the last of the groceries I will be getting today.  Need to double check the recipes again, but I think I only need Sweetened Condensed Milk, Cinnamon Graham Crackers, a bag of frozen strawberries, pretzels, and soda (Dr. Pepper, Orangina, Mountain Dew).  *breathes*  That’s probably not going to be more than $23, right?  I get paid tomorrow, hurrah!  If I’d just stop buying things on eBay, the money-thing would be better.  I’ll be working crazy-full-time soon, though, so that will help quite a bit.

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Social LifeSocial Life: I spent time with Sammy yesterday, which was awesome, even though I still have no idea why she agreed to come to class with  me.  Silly chili.  Hanging around her makes me really happy, even when she’s in a foul mood.  She’s such a beautiful person!  Bryan and I also had a really good day yesterday.  I gave Justin a ride to-and-from somewhere yesterday, which I count as an addition to social life, and I was a big person and asked Sean via Facebook if he wanted to hang out sometime.  Brownie points for me!  Maybe for a change this summer I won’t exile myself to my room in solitude.  Now I just need to work on more of the see-people-in-real-life thing, instead of you-are-online-speak-to-me-on-Facebook.  Also need to work on the trust thing, still, and get the courage to share this with other people.

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Random SqueeRandom Squee: Outside the window, I just looked, and the wind was blowing all the petals off the blossoms on the trees down the walkway.  It’s was wicked pretty.  A swirl of these white petals under the perfect blue sky, contrasted with the fiery green.  It looked like a fairytale scene and made me ueber happy.


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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